A tiger should not spend its life in your backyard or a monkey in your studio apartment.
There are more tigers kept in captivity as pets in Texas than there are wild throughout the world. It is easier to have a tiger as a pet in Texas than it is to adopt a dog labeled as dangerous at the animal shelter.
“We rescued an abandoned tiger living in a small and flimsy chain-link enclosure in Kansas that law enforcement had no idea existed. Just down the road was a children’s daycare,” said Ben Callison, a former animal sanctuary director and long-term animal welfare activist.
Because there are no regulations about how these animals are kept, they are often held in small unsanitary cages barely big enough for the animals to turn around. This leads to many mental health issues including anxiety and depression. Also, because these animals cannot be taken to the vet as a dog would be, their health issues, both mental and physical, do not get prioritized.
Monkeys are one of the most popular exotic animals to keep as pets. They are extremely hard to take care of though because they require so much socialization. They do not mature like human children, they are essentially lifelong toddlers. Monkeys cannot be left alone or they will begin to suffer from severe emotional and mental issues. They live to be anywhere between 20 and 40 years old, and they constantly need social interaction. Being left alone for even a couple hours can do extraordinary harm.
Exotic animals are quite hard to take care of. Most animals pee to mark their territory. These animals were not born to be in small enclosures. They are used to open endless land to explore and when they are confined to a small space they do not get the exercise they need physically, emotionally, or socially.
Wild animals are meant to be in the wild, not to be a pet in your house.